Western Montana Nonprofits Awarded $190,000 Through Federal and Local Bank Partnership

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines partnered with local lenders through the Member Impact Fund to award 17 affordable housing and community development nonprofits with multiple grants

By Maggie Dresser
Trey and Coral Nasset’s Whitefish home, which they purchased through the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust, pictured on Dec. 8, 2023. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines in a partnership with Glacier Bank have awarded $190,000 to 17 nonprofits in western Montana, nine of which are in Flathead County, according to a press release.

As part of the FHLB Des Moines Member Impact Fund grant program, thousands of dollars in grants have been awarded to organizations including the Bigfork Food Bank, the Boys & Girls Club, Kalispell Education Foundation, ImagineIF Library Foundation, Bigfork Rotary Foundation, Whitefish Community Foundation, the Samaritan House and the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust (NWMTCLT).

“Glacier Bank is thrilled by the impact of our partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines on our communities,” Glacier Bank Market President Mike Smith said in the release.

Additionally, more than $2 million will be distributed to 100 statewide nonprofits through affiliated Montana Divisions of Glacier Bank, which will be used to support affordable housing and community development organizations.

Glacier Bank and Park Side Credit Union were part of the partnership that awarded funds to the community land trust, which received six grants from local lenders that will be matched three-to-one by the FHLB Des Moines for a total of $90,000. The funding will go toward six affordable homes in Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish.

Additional lenders involved include Wells Fargo, Whitefish Credit Union, First Interstate Bank and Three Rivers Bank.

“It was perfect timing as NWMTCLT is fundraising to purchase four homes in Whitefish’s Trailview neighborhood this spring,” NWMTCLT Executive Director Kim Morisaki said in a separate news release.

Of that funding, $60,000 will be used as part of a larger financing structure to purchase the land underneath the homes to be sold below market rate to low- and moderate-income households working in Whitefish. The other $30,000 will go toward the construction of three new homes in Kalispell and Columbia Falls, which will be sold to eligible buyers below market rate.

Community land trusts have operated in the United States for more than 50 years by subtracting the cost of the land from the purchase price of the home. New homeowners can purchase the home below market rate and, when they sell, they are able to make a profit restricted to just 25% of the increase in the market value of the home during the period of ownership. This allows the next homebuyer to also purchase the home below market rate. The land that the house sits on is leased to the homebuyer for $25 per month.

The matching grant program was introduced in 2023 and provides nearly $20 million to eligible organizations and FHLB Des Moines grew its Member Impact Fund by $10 million this year. The fund provides $3 for every $1 of an eligible member’s grant donation to strengthen nonprofits and government entities to serve the affordable housing or community development needs in their communities. The Member Impact Fund awards are given in partnership with member financial institutions to communities in their district to become more vibrant places to live and work.

“The Member Impact Fund is just one way FHLB Des Moines enables our members to connect directly with local organizations who matter to them, creating value and a lasting impact in their own communities,” said Kris Williams, president and CEO of FHLB Des Moines, in a news release. “The commitment of members like Park Side Credit Union and their connections to organizations like Northwest Montana Community Land Trust help advance the positive work being done in its community.”

This story has been updated to specify that FHLB of Des Moines partnered with Glacier Bank to award $190,000 to nonprofits.